Photo Day In Vankleek Hill : How to fake an Hawaiian sunset

Copyright ImageVankleek Hill sunrise


In 2004 there was an article in the New York Times with the headline “The Camera Never Lies, But The Software Can”. The article was mostly about John Knoll, whose invention, PhotoShop, was allowing people to make the world a more interesting place — like by putting Madeleine Albright’s head on Ariel Rebel’s body. In my opinion the headline should have read: “The Camera Can Lie, But The Software Always Does”. Mine’s funnier, because it’s true.


Technical Stuff: real Vankleek Hill sunsetI do have PhotoShop Elements 4.0, but I’ve never used it to modify any photo I’ve ever published here, or on my other blogs… except on three where I adjusted the lighting by 10%. But that doesn’t mean the sunset in the photo above looked like that when I took the shot — the thumbnail was taken five minutes before, using the same settings. I was going to write something here about how digital camera’s are stealing the soul from photography, but I forgot how the exposure settings were set on my Kodak C533 when I took the shots… basically we’ve sacrificed photo quality and control over camera settings, for the capacity for unlimited photos, but not all of those photos will come out showing what was really there. Or something. I really should start keeping track of the settings…


Speaking of Emma Watson and PhotoShop… a series of manufactured photographs have been circulating over the Internet recently that have her head expertly pasted on someone else’s mostly naked body. The photos have been 100% totally debunked (link mostly safe for work), including by Emma, but I’m not sure it matters anymore if they’re real or fake. If someone can create a fake so believable it takes the FBI to debunk it well, my friend, there’s really no use proclaiming your innocence, because that was you having sex with a surprisingly youthful Madeleine Albright.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Photography, Photos, Shambhala, Sunset Project, Vankleek Hill, Vankleek Hill Photos, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Photo Day In Vankleek Hill : How to fake an Hawaiian sunset

  1. Bushwriter says:

    Lets not start getting all high and mighty with the digital revolution. The problem really is the Nikons and Canons of the world who think their crappy cameras are smarter than the operators. While I haven’t tried the Kodak, I’ve had great experience with my Fujis doing what I tell them to do. I may not always be right, but I at least get to be the brains of the operations. As for photoshopping and publishing, that’s a slope that is going to get very slippery – very

  2. Look at Iran a few years back. They had a missile test where several of the missiles failed to launch. But they Photoshoped in the missing missiles and released it to the press.

  3. Gabriel says:

    …and what Time did to OJ. My favourite fakes are the ones of the Hungarian tourist standing on top of the WTC with the hijacked plane in the background. A lot of people believed that one at first… I found the original — the tourists’ name was Péter Guzlibut — couldn’t find the hilarious followups. I think one of them replaced the plane with the Garfield balloon from the Macy’s Parade.

    My problem with PhotoShop isn’t so much on the technology, or that we can take 75lbs off of Oprah for a magazine cover — although there should be a notice inside the magazine that it’s a fake. It’s that we still consider them to be photographs. My mother has been using PS to “enhance” her photography for about four years now, and the results are fantastic. But they’re not photos anymore. They’re some kind of weird photo-manip-art-tastular.

    There’s a guy in my blogroll, nice guy, great photographer, but he manipulates all of his photos using the same technique — he kind of makes them look very cold or blanched out. He gets nominated for photo awards, and I’ve voted for him… but it still makes no sense to me.

    The main problem I have with digital photography is the quality of the image. I haven’t tried a DSLR yet, but I know my Pentax K1000, and some decent film, will always get a higher quality image. Unfortunately it be broke, and I can’t figure out who around here can fix it…

    Thanks to the both of you for your comments…

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